Feed a Bee program results in 65 million+ new flowers in US

feed a bee

More than 65 million flowers were planted in 2015 as part of initiative to feed honey bees and other pollinating insects across the United States.

More than 250,000 consumers and 70 organizations took part in Bayer’s Feed a Bee initiative last year, according to Southeast Farm Press.

When bees have access to adequate, diverse food sources they are better able to withstand the stresses caused by the Varroa mite, as well as other mites and diseases, according to recent studies.

The Varroa mite attaches itself to the body of the honey bee and weakens the bee by sucking hemolymph, the fluid which circulates in the bodies of insects. This can cause problems such as the deformed wing virus to spread throughout hives and can ultimately result in a hive’s death.

Through Feed a Bee, Bayer is working to increase forage options for bees and other pollinators at a time when agriculture is relying on them more to help produce enough food to feed a growing world population, the publication noted.

“When we talk to the public, the most common question we hear is, ‘What can I do to help bees?’ Providing pollinators with abundant, diverse food sources is one of the most important things we can all do to promote bee health,” according to Becky Langer, manager of the North American Bee Care Program.

“We created Feed a Bee to make it easy for people to be involved, and we are delighted with the overwhelming response,” she added. “We look forward to getting even more people involved this year.”

Honey bees play a critical role in pollinating many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables which contribute to a healthy, nutritious diet. Given the important role bees play in US agriculture, Bayer undertook the Feed a Bee initiative to help the insects thrive.

“Lack of diverse food sources is a major obstacle to improving honey bee health,” according to the Feed a Bee website. “Quite simply, bees do not have access to all the pollen and nectar sources that they need.”

Feed a Bee seeks to create forage areas with a wide range of bee-attractant plants. It also strives to educate consumers about pollinator food shortages and works with them to plant tens of millions of flowers to increase bee-forage areas.

“We’ve seen some great news in pollinator health in the past year from increasing population numbers to heightened involvement from consumers and other stakeholders,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Crop Science, a division of Bayer. “We still have much work to do to ensure the future health of our honey bee colonies, but we hope the foundation we have from Feed a Bee will continue to bring more partners to the table.”

7 thoughts on “Feed a Bee program results in 65 million+ new flowers in US

    • I am certainly no expert on Round-up ready crops, though I did read up some on them through what I thought was a relatively balanced article here: http://www.popsci.com/blog-network/our-modern-plagues/pros-and-cons-herbicide-tolerant-gmos

      I’ve seen other articles that don’t believe Round-up ready crops are in and of themselves responsible for colony collapse affecting bee hives. The Varroa mite appears to be much more the culprit. Unfortunately, there is a lot of anti-Monsanto propaganda that wants to pin everything wrong with the environment on GMOs, including colony collapse. And I say “unfortunately” because if GMOs aren’t responsible it doesn’t do any good to try to pin the problem on them.

      I have a friend who keeps bee hives and he believes that some of the problem may simply be hives being kept in too close proximity to one another, which results in mites and other problems being allowed to spread much more easily.

  1. Of the research I’ve seen via ScienceDaily and other media that does point to pesticides being part, and part only, of the bee die-off problem, neither Round-up nor genetically-modified crops are as suspect as the neonicotinoids (tobacco-based pesticides).

    This was an interesting post. I would find it especially interesting to learn how much $ and effort the makers of the tobacco-based pesticides had spent in plantings on prooerties owned by them.


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